Sunday, February 9, 2014

Failure to control rare growth disorder using hormonal drugs is an area of grave concern

Acromegaly effects over a quarter of UK patients every year. It is caused by a benign GH producing tumour in our pituitary gland which releases in GH in a controlled manner. GH promotes release of IGF-1 and these two together in excess results in acromegaly or abnormal growth in humans, and decreased life expectancy. The UK Acromegaly Register collected 4206 data’s on courses of medical treatments. They included details on GH and IGF-1 levels, the latter more difficult to control. Observation results showed control of GH was better in patients with surgery or radiotherapy before treatment. Somatostatin drug gave a better control over GH and IGF-1. It is now important to establish through further studies if control of GH alone is sufficient to restore morbidity and mortality in these patients. However in real life clinical trials, the desired targets for control have not been met till now for many patients.

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